Sometimes, the best you can do as a new mum is munch on a piece of toast to get by between all those feedings, changing and nap resettlings. You know you should be eating better, but there just doesn’t seem to ever be the time, right? So, here are our best tips and tricks for pre-planning meals and getting organised – they’ll save you heaps of time, help you out with a healthy meal when everything’s chaotic and keep your energy levels up. Enjoy!
15 healthy hacks for busy mums
- Eat breakfast.
- Cook three months’ worth of meals.
- Stash snacks in every handbag.
- Create a snack container in the fridge.
- Do a menu plan.
- Use online shopping
- Do a cooking afternoon.
- Double-batch your cooking.
- Stock the fruit bowl.
- Chuck out the junk.
- Swap to slow burning carbs.
- Pre-cook pasta for lunch/dinner meals.
- Up the ante with a multivitamin.
- Schedule exercise.
- Don’t overcommit.
- Eat breakfast. It’s a winning strategy for successful dieters everywhere, research shows. Think porridge with milk, a chopped banana, a sprinkling of cinnamon and walnuts. Or scrambled eggs with rye toast. Or a berry smoothie with a dollop of yoghurt and protein powder to keep you going. Include protein wherever possible.
- Cook three months’ worth of meals. Or, if a friend asks what they can do for you, ask for meals you can freeze. This will save your life more than anything.
- Stash snacks in every handbag. That healthy muesli bar will become a lifesaver when you least expect it, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Create a snack container in the fridge. Good grab’n’go options include packs of cheese and bikkies, nuts and dried fruit (think walnuts, sunflower seeds, dried apricots), low-sugar berry muffins, bags of air-popped popcorn or tubs of yoghurt.
- Do a menu plan. Being organized is everything when you’re a new mum, and planning the week’s meals out on a small blackboard or whiteboard taped to your fridge can save you oodles of time – and the witching hour freak-out about dinner!
- Use online shopping. Once you’ve used it a few times and have shopping lists saved into your profile, grocery shopping can take as little as ten minutes. Plus, you can have heavy bags, boxes of nappies and other bulky items carried right into your kitchen – much easier than trying to juggle bags and kids at the supermarket.
- Do a cooking afternoon. Pack the kids off with dad and spend a Sunday afternoon once a week or once cooking for the week ahead. Think healthy dinners you can freeze like stews, soups, lasagna, curries, pies, plus healthy snacks to nibble on (bliss balls are great). When witching hour hits or you’re just busy with bath, stories and bedtime, you’ll be so glad to know dinner just needs a reheat.
- Double-batch your cooking. Cooking twice as much of the same meal when you cook and freezing half for another night is a smart time-saver.
- Stock the fruit bowl. Studies show people who have fruit in easy reach are more likely to be slimmer compared to those who have cereal or soft drinks cluttering up the kitchen counter!
- Chuck out the junk. When you’re tired (and you will be beyond tired as a new mum) it’s so easy to reach for the TimTams, the bag of crisps, the chocolate. Get rid of it and the temptation that comes with it.
- Swap to slow burning carbs. White bread, crackers, cakes and white rice send your blood sugar soaring then crashing. Slow burn carbs have the opposite effect and will keep you going for longer. Try sweet potatoes, brown basmati rice, wholegrain pasta, chickpeas, lentils, beans, quinoa.
- Pre-cook pasta for lunch / dinner meals. It’s fine kept in the fridge for a couple of days, especially if you toss it with a little olive oil. Then you can take out a portion, reheat it with a little sauce in the pan, or even chop it up and add it to a speedy omelette. A great time-saver when you have a hungry kid on your hands.
- Up the ante with a multivitamin. Our Maternity Formula contains essential vitamins and minerals to boost energy production, assist in skin repair and healing and to support breastfeeding.
- Schedule exercise. Even if you can’t get to the gym, a workout at home can be just as good. Buy a video such as Jillian Anderson’s 30-day Shred or check out online fitness videos on YouTube or Fitness Blender.
- Don’t overcommit. Being a new mum is hard yakka. You have a lot on your plate and so it’s essential to be honest about your limits and learn to say no. Friends will understand (especially those with little ones) and you’ll preserve your mental health.
What’s your best healthy hack for new mums? We’d love to hear about it in the comments!